Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discussion

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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby elecuyer » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:22 pm

WW&F Receives Railway Heritage Grant

The National Railway Historical Society has selected the WW&F Railway Museum as a recipient of a Railway Heritage Grant. This award of $3000 will be used to help equip the locomotives and rolling stock of the railway with an Eames Automatic vacuum brake system. Automatic vacuum brakes are an important safety feature as our railroad expands, as they will engage automatically if the cars in the train become separated. Moreover, the single control in the cab will give the engineer greater control over the train.

The original WW&F used straight vacuum brakes on their locomotives, and the restored Number 9 now utilizes these as independent (engine) brakes. To protect the entire train, Eames patented an automatic vacuum braking system, but it was never fully developed in the US, due to his untimely death. As the Museum is a continuation of the original WW&F railway, it is fitting that we fully develop automatic vacuum brakes – which is likely the choice the original WW&F would have considered had it been required to install an automatic braking system.

Already WW&F museum coach 8 and Number 9 have been equipped with this system; but testing was not completed in 2016 due to other projects. Testing will be completed in the coming year and the system added gradually to the remaining locomotives and rolling stock.

The WW&F thanks the National Railway Society for choosing this project to receive a Railway Heritage grant. The NRHS has been very supportive of past projects at the WW&F, including funding the recreated Planished American Rolled Iron (also called "Russia Iron") jacket on Number 9 and our continued mainline extension.

In other WW&F news, the "21 Campaign" to build two new locomotive boilers is well underway with nearly 60% of the needed funds raised. The raw boiler materials have already arrived at the museum, and shaping #10's boiler will begin shortly. However, funds are still needed to complete both boilers. We invite our friends and followers to support this effort at https://fundrazr.com/21campaign.

Finally, our "Easter Eggspress Spring Steam Up" is next Saturday, 4/15/17. Details at: http://wwfry.org/?tribe_events=special-event-easter-eggspress-3
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Wed May 24, 2017 2:12 pm

I am coming from NY with my wife to ride the WW&F on Saturday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby Mikejf » Wed May 24, 2017 2:15 pm

Supposed to be a decent day. As of now the forecast is calling for rain Friday clearing for Saturday.
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby gokeefe » Wed May 24, 2017 6:41 pm

elecuyer wrote:The National Railway Historical Society has selected the WW&F Railway Museum as a recipient of a Railway Heritage Grant. This award of $3000 will be used to help equip the locomotives and rolling stock of the railway with an Eames Automatic vacuum brake system. Automatic vacuum brakes are an important safety feature as our railroad expands, as they will engage automatically if the cars in the train become separated. Moreover, the single control in the cab will give the engineer greater control over the train.


I took another read through this ... Are there any other tourist lines running vacuum brakes anywhere in the U.S. or Canada?
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby elecuyer » Wed May 24, 2017 7:44 pm

Straight vacuum brakes are today found on some park-train and similar small-scale operations. However, what makes the WW&F unique is that automatic vacuum brakes (those that deploy automatically should the train cars separate) will be used. We believe that this system will be the only one of its kind in North America. It is based on a design patented by Eames, but never produced - due to his untimely death. We believe that had the original WW&F continued operations past 1933, it is likely that it would have adopted automatic vacuum brakes had it been required to do so. (The WW&F already used straight vacuum brakes; adding the automatic component would have required far less investment than a conversion to automatic [westinghouse] air brakes.)
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby gokeefe » Thu May 25, 2017 9:05 am

That's amazing stuff. Very interesting piece of mechanical history. It's also a nice point of difference with all other narrow gauge museums. Obviously it's also just good safety practice as well. As the museum becomes ever more popular I would imagine it gets harder and harder to find enough brakemen to staff each car.
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby flyingfox10 » Mon May 29, 2017 8:58 pm

Benjamin were you able to make it down this past Saturday?

As far as brakeman go, one hand brake is plenty to slow a typical two or three car train. Originally the Railroads had a brakeman for every 4 cars.
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby Reader#108 » Wed May 31, 2017 7:35 pm

Myself and my son made it over on Saturday.

Outstanding as always
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:13 am

flyingfox10 wrote:Benjamin were you able to make it down this past Saturday?


My wife and I did visit on Saturday, and it was absolutely fantastic! I wrote up a little bit about it on my blog:
http://dandhcoloniemain.blogspot.com/20 ... -ww-f.html
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby flyingfox10 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:30 pm

Great little write up you did there. There are a few rough spots in the track, however it is kept to 25mph standards for most of the main line, although we average 10-15.

Some days we have several volunteers who enjoy to ride and talk to the guests, and other days we have just enough to run the train which usually consists of 4 people. Engineer, fireman, conductor, and brakeman.

Our "replica" turntable is unique in design and the fact that several pieces of equipment such as freight cars, #9, and the turntable were all built by the same company.

In the near future if all goes well we will have a replica roundhouse, shingle mill, and another mile of track that will give us a 7 mile round trip.

Also not sure if anyone mentioned it, but the siding at Top of the Mountain, where the engine ran around the train, was originally a stub ended siding where trains in the old days had to double the hill.
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby elecuyer » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:45 am

The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington (WW&F) Railway Museum "Narrow Bridge Ahead!" Campaign is asking for $50,000 in donations for site preparation and erection of "Moose Brook" bridge to carry the Museum's reconstruction of the two foot, narrow gauge WW&F Railway across Trout Brook in Alna, Maine. The bridge, originally constructed near Gorham in 1918 on the Berlin (NH) Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad, is a historically-significant example of a Howe Boxed Pony Truss bridge, one of only eight surviving examples of such a design. This effort is being performed in conjunction with the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges and the National Park Service.

To learn more about this important project, and to contribute, please see:
https://fundrazr.com/NarrowBridgeAhead
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby flyingfox10 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:53 pm

One important note, the bridge has been donated to the museum by the Preservation of Covered Bridges, as well as a grant to help construct the bridge as well as transportation.
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby Mikejf » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:34 am

The museum has to cover the cost of transportation, plus any additional costs to the contractor for assembling the bridge in Alna (lodging, modifications to the structure). We are providing some volunteer labor to help with assembly.
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby bubbytrains » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:48 pm

Totally OT I know, but today I was behind a car with the license plate "WW&F RWY" in Gray, ME!
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Re: Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway (WW&F) Discus

Postby elecuyer » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:26 pm

Saturday, September 30th is the Museum's Fall Festival. We're looking forward to it, and look forward to seeing folks who have made attending a tradition along with new faces. More information at: http://wwfry.org/?tribe_events=special-event-our-eighth-annual-fall-festival

We are adding something new! For a long time, folks have been asking for us to run an evening train. This year we partnered with an expert on local apples, John Bunker of Palermo, to create a unique and wonderful Fall evening train. John is well known in these parts for his work with Maine Heritage Orchards at MOFGA and FEDCO Trees. He also has his Out on a Limb CSA. He also wrote "Not Far from the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo, Maine, 1804-2004"

The train will leave Sheepscot promptly at 6pm, and arrive at Alna Center where a bonfire, cider, and snacks will await. John will share the history of apples and cider making in the Sheepscot Valley, along with the transport of the apple harvest on the WW&F. For those of you who have heard stories of how apples growing along the railway wound up there, there will be a special surprise.

John also welcomes anyone who has an apple they would like to know more about to bring a specimen to the event. He will identify it for you.

After enjoying sunset at Alna Center, the train will return to Sheepscot in darkness amidst the warm glow of oil lamps.

Tickets will be the regular price ($8 adults/ $7 60+/ $5 12 & under)
Tickets will be available beginning at 5pm at Sheepscot Station.
The Moonlight Extra will run weather permitting.
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